McCleod Russel profits fall as demand slackens in US and German markets

Coatings and air filters group McLeod Russel warned last week that a pick-up in profits this financial year will depend on a higher level of demand than seen in the first few weeks of the period. Chief executive Ian Hazlehurst unveiled a sharp drop in annual profits to £7.41m, compared with £11.46m this time last […]

Coatings and air filters group McLeod Russel warned last week that a pick-up in profits this financial year will depend on a higher level of demand than seen in the first few weeks of the period.

Chief executive Ian Hazlehurst unveiled a sharp drop in annual profits to £7.41m, compared with £11.46m this time last year.

The figure, in line with a profit warning in May, follows difficulties in the US and German markets.

The second half had been stronger, but the company said this had not offset difficult trading conditions in its core divisions.

Hazlehurst admitted that the current year would be `challenging’, adding that forecasting was getting more difficult with extremely short order books.

Turnover fell by £7m to £107.2m, mostly as a result of the May 1998 sale of paints distributor Bancrofts to automotive group Finelist.

{{RESULTS

Company Pre-tax Turnover Dividend profit £m £m p 1999 1998 1999 1998 1999 1998

600 Group -0.74 3.89 47.2 59 1.5 1.5Interim to 2/10/99

GEC 157 1,318 3,827 2,944 1.8 4.2Interim to 30/9/99

Invensys 436 119 4,589 4,861 2.5 2.3Interim to 30/9/99

McLeod Russel 7.41 11.5 107 114 7.1 7.1Year to 30/9/99

Syltone 2.24 2.73 43.3 45.3 2.25 2.25Interim to 30/9/99

Trifast 5.11 4.62 54 43.7 4.57 4.17Interim to 30/9/99

Wagon 11.0 11.2 173 175 3.7 3.7Interim to 30/9/99}}